Grassroots Astro-turfing the Mini-Dorm Overlay and Superpowers

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Astroturf001
Michael Goodman, the owner of NW University Equities LLC, took out a quarter page last Saturday’s Arizona Daily Star excoriating the Tucson City Council for creating an overlay district to slow the growth of mini-dorm redevelopment in the University region. He supplies a nice little cut-out form for affected owners to fill out and mail to the Mayor with a claim for diminished valuation under Prop. 207. Then the mayor can place them all carefully in the special round file he keeps handy for such obvious astro-turf.

In passing any regulation of mini-dorm development, the City Council was painfully aware of the potential to inadvertently fall afoul of Prop 207 – itself the product of a much more successful astro-turf campaign by the ironically named billionaire New York developer Howard Rich and abetted by the woefully short-sighted Arizona Chamber of Commerce, whose members are apparently more than willing to swat flies on their noses with high-velocity .357 rounds.

What is truly remarkable about this quixotic campaign by Mr. Goodman is its tone, not its content. The content is the standard limitless property rights claims of the fringe right-wing, which have in recent years migrated into mainstream Republican circles like a metastasizing cancer.

But the tone is truly something to behold. You know how Super Heroes and Super Villians tend to be created by some thematic catalysm? You know, guy gets buried in a sand pit and hit with million volts and becomes The Sand Man. Well, apparently Mr. Goodman was caught in the explosion of a Libertarian reading room at the very moment that Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan were performing a hot homosexual sex-magic ritual on their private altar to Ayn Rand. Thus was born THE OBJECTIVIST!

Question
Able to ignore market failures with a single rationalization. Ready to fight predatory government bureaucrats by outsourcing their jobs to market-based entities. THE OBJECTIVIST stands fast in defense of the absolute divine right to extract the highest possible value from property. His only weakness is an inability to conceive that markets are the product of laws, not natural phenomenon.

Some examples of THE OBJECTIVIST’S principled defense of the oppressed landed class:

"The Arizona electorate WISELY RECOGNIZED the POWER HUNGRY NATURE OF SOME BUREAUCRATS, who try to control the lives of productive people and their property rights, and reacted by WISELY ENACTING "PROPOSITION 207" to stop these CONFISCATORY TENDENCIES. These people ANGRY, ENVIOUS OBSTRUCTIONISTS who, because they haven’t the foggiest idea of how to, or the ability to, do anything productive, can only JUSTIFY THEIR EXISTENCE through SOCIAL ENGINEERING AND THE REDISTRIBUTION OF THE PROPERTY AND PRODUCTION OF OTHERS."

The all caps and bold face delivery is not my addition – that’s original, 100% pure, crankitude. This is a Super manifesto if I’ve ever seen one. Bold ideas and heart-felt truths that can’t be constrained by mundane rules of grammar or sullied by copy-editing. It sounds like a few pages of Atlas Shrugged, wherein Dagney Taggart rants about the parasitical state while humping John Galt, got wedged into THE OBJECTIVIST’S brain by the explosion that created him. I love the claim that purpose of this ordinance is not to control mini-dorms from ruining neighborhoods, but simply to justify the existence of unproductive, clueless losers who live to redistribute other’s wealth. Priceless.

But it doesn’t stop there. THE OBJECTIVIST just keeps giving:

"WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTIFICATION OR EVEN PUBLIC DISCUSSION a new act of governmental confiscation was furtively passed, WITHOUT ANY REGARD TO THE WISHES OF THE MAJORITY OF THE ELECTORATE as expressed by last year’s passage of Prop 207. Certain Tucson officials recently, WITH STEALTH TECHNOLOGY, rammed through the passage of a new demolition ordinance DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU and the HIGHEST VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY PERMANENTLY SEPARATED!"

THE OBJECTIVIST sees all! Even the STEALTH TECHNOLOGY for ramming ordinances that mere mortals cannot even perceive. Those damned confiscatory officials! They are so sneaky, they are even capable of passing laws furtively in a public meeting!

THE OBJECTIVIST understands the categorical moral imperative that developers must be allowed to tear down crappy old houses and replace them "productive, spacious, modern, light-filled, and energy-efficient" mini-dorms, pack them with brats, and extract the highest potential value from them (as long as someone else has to live next to it). The noblest and highest calling of man is to make a killing on mini-dorms! THE OBJECTIVIST has spoken!

"FILL OUT the form below with your NAME, ADDRESS, DATE, and the AMOUNT you feel you are reasonably entitled to & MAIL IT to MAYOR WALKUP
THE CITY IS SUPPOSED TO PAY YOUR CLAIM OR RELEASE YOU FROM THE NEW ORDINANCE. – EITHER WAY YOU WIN!
"

Yes! THE OBJECTIVIST has determined what the city is ‘supposed’ to do, and surely that’s the last word on the matter.

One should take a moment to be properly appreciative of the fact that whether THE OBJECTIVIST is Super Hero or Super Villian, at least he’s not on our side.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona.net as the Howard Dean presidential campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren. In 2008, Michael remade BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now is but one of the contributors to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction in consultation with the Board of Directors and the other authors. If you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news in an entertaining quick hit of news and opinion, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which Mike curates under the hashtag #MB.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I agree, Mike.

    As for my coments about Giffords and her actions in regards to campaign Finance laws and fundraising ETHICS ; my concerns went beyond the norm in any political campaign in January of 2006 and my web-site carries my request for a Congressional Investigation into Earmarks promised to a Solar Company before – during and after her Election.

    The facts speak for themselves.

    In a time of members of Congress being found with money in there freezer and being working as “PAID LOBBYISTS” instead of representing there constituents I felt enough was enough!

    Speaking for myself if I had ONE MILLION DOLLARS in my Campaign Funds as of Today a year before the Election being the 5th highest in the NATION I would be ashamed to go to my supporters and send mailers to there homes wanting money contributed to my campaign for ” TUCSON’S BIRTHDAY”and ask them to give even more!

    Having been an Executive in The Grocery Business and begining my career in the Grocery business working as a carry-out that as my daily job was to clean the Toilets which I took PRIDE in doing so to the point no one would use the bathrooms until AFTER I had cleaned them( doing so called “work American’s will not do today” according to President Bush) Ethics comes with Values and dealing with the Public in a Fair and Pruedent Manner putting THEM FIRST before myself or my employees was my work ethic!

    Its your choice whom you feel best represents your own personal values and life experiences.

    I could NOT just sit by and watch the business community being given the lion share of attention financially with your and my tax dollars by a Congresswoman who claims to support Unions and dumped her personal friend Eddie Basha to gain that support than when the time came to support Unions while they were on strike was nowhere to be found!

  2. I don’t generally drop comments unless it’s commercial spam. I think Roger put the reasons for this quite well. And it’s not as if any of it actually hurts or influences anyone. If it crosses a legal line, that is when I take steps. Short of that line, it’s not worth the bother.

    Anyhow, sometimes it pays to have a good hard look at the psycho-emotional underpinnings of a viewpoint you disagree with. It can be useful, even if it’s unpleasant.

  3. Now Iam an Antisemite?

    There are some people in this world that take advantage of there friends when running for public office and promise payback to them!

    I do NOT use people in ways that is not in the Public Good in any Campaign I have been involved in be it Pima County Sheriff in 1968 or Precinct Committeeman or a Congresional Candidate since the 2004 election cycle, my letter heads for 45 years have carried HE STANDS GOOD GOVERNMENT slogan!

    My personal Lawyers are King Frisch and Allen PC and Gene Karp of Council of which I was a very good friend of his mother-in-law Rose Silver as Pima County Attorney and later council to The Board of Supervisors.

    I have NOT asked them to contribute to my Campaign nor have I asked for there support because of Politics!

    But guess who has?

  4. Whoops!!! I was WRONG….WRONG WRONG WRONG. I found the post/exchange I was talking about above. I thought I had reacted under the Pelosi post, it was under the one below it on Tim Bee.

    Michael does NOT drop comments…at least that I can see.

    As for the reason he might not censor Dwight. Maybe he knows that few even engage his comments and rants. And there is something about free speech that allows all of us to express ourselves, to look brilliant, to make mistakes and correct them, and to look like blooming idiots.

  5. I will come to the defense of Mike on this one. I am aware of one comment that he deleted of mine and of Dwight’s. Dwight made a comment about Giffords that was far far more anti-Semitic than what he has simply suggested here. I was offended. Called him out for it…and in a pretty up front way I might add. Mike deleted both posts.

  6. I will come to the defense of Mike on this one. I am aware of one comment that he deleted of mind and of Dwight’s. Dwight made a comment about Giffords that was far far more anti-Semitic than what he has simply suggested here. I was offended. Called him out for it…and in a pretty up front way I might add. Mike deleted both posts.

  7. x4mr:
    You seem to think Iam attacking Mikes Blog by making comments?!

    There is nothing further from the truth!

    It seems as though people have made a habit of lying to you and you don’t know when someone is telling you the truth!

  8. Michael,

    My respect for you and your blog is well established, but I have to express my confusion regarding your tolerance regarding comments. I get the free speech ACLU let everyone say anything, but the engineer inside of me (as well as the CEO) does the payoff / cost analysis. You know web traffic as well as I do if not better, and we both know the 5,000 hit a day claim is preposterous. He doesn’t get 50 hits a day. The man is pathological, not running for office, and a liar. I feel sorry for him.

    Yes, certain angles in the rhetoric have elements of truth. The retread thing was shaky but not illegal. Giff was a piece of work, and he did change his name, but consider that you give license and voice to nonsense.

    I respect your site and believe your savvy audience can handle anything posted. Still, and don’t think I question your respect for your readers, I have to say that out of respect for mine, I’ll nuke some of the trash you tolerate.

    I have, can, and will delete comments that fall beneath a certain threshold. It’s not an ego thing, but a certain desire to serve my readers.

    I don’t know if that makes sense, and again, your blog is terrific, stupid psychopath comments or not.

  9. For all of the Neutral Feminists who want to “Dumb Down” everything Male in todays Society by removing Tag played in schools, musical chairs and cops and robbers plus removing toy guns for the sake of a Gender Neutral Society I say beware!

    A Gender Neutral Political Correct Society of Dancing in La La Land with left wing Feminists will destroy what is right in America!

    As we all look with horror at the World the World is Laughing at America being a push-over ripe for the third world masses to kick us out of our own Country because of The Dumbing Down of America!

  10. Liza;

    My web-site gets over 5,000 hits a day. The Hits come from places around the World and at home.

    What surprizes me is who is looking at my web-site from Saudi Arabia to South American Countries.

    The “Noboby is listening” might come from The Politically Correct among us ; but those who want the Truth are listening.

    One interesting comment on using words and statements that are not being listened too; did you know that there is a software program being developed for women that is more “Neutral” in its wordings because women respond differently to words than do men?

    Being more matter of fact is a trate of men while women play with words.

    In the last few years since I began my run for Congress I noticed a Hatred in all the Democratic Party meetings that I attended that I had NOT seen in the last 50 years as a member of The Democratic Party in Pima County.

    I was very much more reserved and politically correct not saying anything negative about anyone; until I realized that I could be as Politically Correct as Punch but it was now costing me my Liberty and Freedoms as a Citizen and thousands more of my dollars as a Tax Payer; especially in Pima County Taxes!

  11. Dwight, if you don’t want to hear from Giffords then do what I did and ask to be removed from her mailing list.

    As for the rest of it, you will have more credibility if you stop the rants and the name calling and use more neutral language. Whatever it is you have to say is overpowered by the manner in which you say it, and no one is listening.

  12. My Father was in The Tire Business in Tucson and knew Gif Giffords from the time they moved to Tucson from Europe in the 1940’s.

    There name was different than as you all know but changed it to Giffords because of Anti-semitizm fears of behalf of Gif Giffords.

    There business dealings were on the CHEAP and there service was less than CHEAP; as customers found out what the REAL STORY WAS; IT WAS ALL ABOUT MONEY MONEY MONEY at EL CAMPO and like Father like Daughter ITS ALL ABOUT YOUR TAX MONEY in her pockets as your Congresswoman!

  13. Francine I do NOT USE THE WORD F-U-C-K as we have seen many many times in the past on this blog!

    As for the word Whore ; go back a few years and you will see Mike IS the one who told me to call Giffords what she is and use the word WHORE when describing her actions in an earlier blog!

    I refrained from using terminology that was seen regularly on this blog ; but thought about what Mike was saying about Giffords and agreed!

    The Term “Whore” has nothing to do with RACE or GENDER as it can apply to a man as well.At this time I see no men runing for Congress in Arizona or the Senate who are as MONEY HUNGRY as GIFFORDS in giving MILLIONS of Dollars in EARMARKS TO HER FRIENDS Tucson Solar Demonstration Project of 2004 George Villec as also described in detail on my web-site.

    I alspo talk about the AARP sellling out Senior Citizens through the S-Chip Program and GIFFORDS promising MILLIONS of Dollars to the AARP as she had AARP lobbyists LYING to Senior Citizens in Forums a few weeks ago , taking money from Medicare Advantage Programs and insuring parents with children that earn $50,000 to $110,000 dollars a year!
    This is also explained in detail on my web-site NOT on this blog!

    I think GIFFORDS is DISGUSTING as she IS in the TOP 10 EARMARK WHORES in Congress dumping MILLIONS of your and my TAXDOLLARS into Private Companies run by her Friends!

    Her MONEY MONEY MONEY GIVE ME MONEY IS A MAJOR PROBLEM FOR GIFFORDS AS SHE DOES NOT KNOW WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH FRANCINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I do NOT only comment on this Blog as for many years my comments have been posted on BOTH liberal and Conservative Blogs.

    As for Giffords and her actions relating to MONEY MONEY MONEY; take a look at the Arizona FEC filings for BOTH the Senate and Congressional Districts to date.

    Tell me why Giffords shows alomst (1) One Million Dollars in her account over a year before the election while Senators and other Congressional Candidates are in the $200,000 dollar range??!!

    As my web-site points to a MILLION DOLLAR BILL as the object of Giffords Campaign NOT representing your or my opinions!

    As for myself I have receives (2) TWO letters from her Cactus Connection last week asking to donate to her Campaign to celebrate TUCSONS BIRTHDAY!!!!!!?

    Tell me what a MONEY WHORE IS and I will show you GIFFORDS!!!!!!!

  15. For the record, I agree with Francine and Mariana. I do not like women being referred to as “money whores” or any other kind of whores for that matter. I realize that people express themselves in different ways, some better than others, but I also think that some of this name calling is getting pretty vulgar.

  16. American Chauvinist,
    Is there any reason you comment only on this blog?
    May be Mike is the only super openminded blogger that doesn’t delete any comments (and I commend him for doing so in the name of free exchange of ideas)but what you do is NOT – may I repete: NOT! – either commenting or exchanging ideas.
    Enough is enough.

  17. With but one exception, this blog is a mutually respectful exchange of views – Dwight, I am frankly sick and tired of your vitriol – take it to your own blog and leave the rest of us who enjoy exchanging ideas in peace and quiet!

  18. The University a tax backed tax exempt entity of tenured Socialists taking us down a path of taking your and my rights; property and money AWAY for the benefit of the masses is CRAP! and Teaching the Same to insure future generations continue the Socialist Stalinist Agenda of everything you and I earn in our lifetime belongs to the Government!

    From Universal Health Insurance S-Chip for 10 Million kids who parents have insurance through there places of employment and earn from $50,000 to 110,000 dollars a year forcing parents who make $50,000 a year to subsidize parents with kids making $110,000 a years is NUTS!!!!!!!!!

    I say why ONLY insure 10 million kids why not INSURE 90 MILLION KIDS and GET IT OVER WITH ; here take everything you and my children and grandchildren will rearn in the next hundred years and INSURE THE WORLD and for God sakes KEEP OUR BORDERS OPEN!

    The Rio Nuevo project is another tax backed socialist scheme giving millions of your and my tax dollars to the money whore Giffords and her family trust for 55 years!

    Look at the idiots on the City Council who sit there drueling over Hotels and Convention Centers being built in Town Town Tucson like Nina Trasoff and Karen Ulrich who could not find there way out of a paper bag full of holes!

    Nina the ” I Hate This Damn Cow Town” concil woman; needs to get the hell out of town before Tucson once again runs her out like they did when she was Fired as a News Anchor and took flight!

  19. The Icing on the cake came from a LIBERAL on the Supreme Cort NOT a Conservative Mike; Sandra Day Oconnor who’s Sister sits on The Pima County Board of Supervisors allowing Towns, Counties and States to take your and my home for a shopping center or anything that involves taking land away from the Private Property owner VIOLATING the U.S. Constitution!

    The University of Arizona Dorm problem has been a problem since I attended the U.of A. in the 1960’s this is nothing new!

    Funny the U.of A. Campus is everywhere , West Side -Mid Town North Side but Dorms all must be built next to Old Main??!!

    Dorms can be built away from the Main U.Of A. Campus and students can be bussed to campus or take light rail(hopefully in the future in Tucson’s transportation system)

    Leave the Neighborhoods ALONE around the U.of A. and they will increase in value; right now property values are declining ( when Pima County values surged) because of the big Gorrilla in the neighborhood The U.of A. who is NOT neighborhood friendly!

  20. This guy and his brethren disgust me. I live directly in one of the neighborhoods affected by mini-dorms. His campaign almost implies that there is no need for zoning at all and that to do so is somehow wrong. NO ONE who lives near a minidorm and this guy’s developments has anything but disdain for them and their impact. Trash…trash…trash…cars in front yards, massive parties, and worse, an altering of a neighborhood forever. Houses that will NEVER be bought again by a family or homeowner.

    What disgusts me more is how shy our council seems to be about prop. 207. The city and council are blinking like crazy as these threats mount.

    I know so many who just have had it. They are abandoning our neighborhood because they are tired of having to help themselves. They get nothing but bandaids from the Democrat majority…and in the end…neighborhoods continue to be altered forever.

    I just don’t understand. Other great college towns have solved this problem. We seem to not be able to. All this talk about having a liveable inner core, neighborhoods were people can walk and bike to work, and community…is all falling by the wayside.

  21. This guy and his brethren disgust me. I live directly in one of the neighborhoods affected by mini-dorms. His campaign almost implies that there is no need for zoning at all and that to do so is somehow wrong. NO ONE who lives near a minidorm and this guy’s developments has anything but disdain for them and their impact. Trash…trash…trash…cars in front yards, massive parties, and worse, an altering of a neighborhood forever. Houses that will NEVER be bought again by a family or homeowner.

    What disgusts me more is how shy our council seems to be about prop. 207. The city and council are blinking like crazy as these threats mount.

    I know so many who just have had it. They are abandoning our neighborhood because they are tired of having to help themselves. They get nothing but bandaids from the Democrat majority…and in the end…neighborhoods continue to be altered forever.

    I just don’t understand. Other great college towns have solved this problem. We seem to not be able to. All this talk about having a liveable inner core, neighborhoods were people can walk and bike to work, and community…is all falling by the wayside.

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